Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Day Out in The City

A Day Out in The City

Last Friday, the Erdkinder Class visited the USS Pampanito, a World War II submarine on Pier 45 in San Francisco. Our city has a lot of very strong nautical and military history, particularly regarding the war in the Pacific in the 20th century. As we are currently exploring the history of Europe and some of the events surrounding WWI and WWII, it seemed fitting to visit a local landmark so that we could learn about the experience of being part of that era.

We rented audio tours and descended into the submarine. We learned about the torpedo rooms and that the men slept right next to the torpedoes.

Quarters inside the submarine were extremely tight; the men used every available spare piece of space inside to store food – even storing cans and vegetables in the showers at first! The submarine’s engines gave off a lot of heat, and the smell of diesel fuel was everywhere.

The audio tour featured the voices of men who served on the Pampanito and they told stories of their lives aboard, listening to “Tokyo Rose,” the Japanese radio station that broadcasted propaganda to the U.S. troops during the war. We liked visiting the “mess” room where the men ate their meals and – when they did have some downtime – played backgammon and chess on boards painted into the tables. It was amazing to see the tiny kitchen or “galley” and realize that the submarine’s cooks made food for 85 people from this tiny space every day.

After our first walk through the submarine with the audio tour, we then went back through again with a packet with lots of questions about the submarine and the war. We used a combination of what we learned from the audio and what we read on information panels inside each chamber of the submarine to answer the questions.

After we had spent the morning on the submarine, we ate our picnic lunch on Pier 45. Then, we visited the amazing Musee Mechanique This is an amazing museum of "turn of the century" (as in 19th-20th) mechanized fair ground toys and amusements all gathered from what was originally a personal collection. With a pocket full of spare change, you can spend a whole day in here playing the machines. And, best of all, it's free!

The Erdkinder Students

A Day in the Life: Emeryville, Nido


Phrase of the Day: April 30, 2014

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

I am making lots of rice balls...

I am making a lots of rice balls.

This celery is hard to cut.

A Visit to the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve in Moss Beach

On Friday, April 25, the ErdKinder Community to a wet and windy day out to visit the amazing tide pools at the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve.

If you have not been to Moss Beach and seen the incredible miniature worlds of the tide pools, we strongly recommend that you check the tide tables and make the trip. There is a world of enchantment that lies just off the San Mateo coastline, just waiting for you to discover!

 Here, we are looking over the tide pools from the bluff walk...
 It is "pup" season for the Harbor Seals. A large section of the beach is blocked off so that the seals are not disturbed. We could see seal pups from the bluff.
 The walk through the woods down to the beach path was stunning. Even in the rain and wind, we felt like we had been transported to a completely different world, far from San Mateo!
 At the beach, our Park Ranger/docent showed us a type of sea weed called "Turkish Towel." We also learned to identify Surf Grass, Bat Sea Stars, Leather Sea Stars and many kinds of anemones...

We spent a wonderful hour exploring all of the tide pools. Although the weather was overcast and raining, the ranger told us that - in fact - this was better conditions to view the creatures in the tide pools as during intense sunshine, they tend to hide in cool, dark places away from the sun.

Overall, it was a great afternoon. Thanks to Mrs. Fanelli for lending us her mini van for the trip!

The EK Students

A Day in the Life: Emeryville Nido

      你看我在看書。Look!  I am looking at the book.
     這是媽媽。She is a mother.
     我要用力推。I need to use strength to push.
     快來坐車。Free ride?

Holocaust Survivor, Mr. Charles Stevens, Visits The Erdkinder Classroom

This last Monday, April 28, was Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Today, the Erdkinder and a small group of the EC students, were incredibly lucky to meet Mr. Charles Stevens. Mr. Stevens survived the Holocaust of WWII by being hidden in a series of Belgian orphanages by both Protestants and Catholics. His parents left him and his sister, Lily, in a Catholic convent and told them not to tell anyone that they were Jewish.

Charles's parents were able to get out of Europe and they made it to a refugee camp in Upper New York State. They had no idea if their children were alive or not until after the war, when an American soldier visited the convent and then returned to the U.S. with information regarding children left there.

After the end of the war, Charles and his sister were reunited with their parents. They then made a live for themselves on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
Our time with Mr. Stevens was very fascinating. We got to ask a lot of questions about what life was like for him as a "hidden child" during the war, and what happened to his family. As we have only recently finished reading The Diary of Anne Frank, meeting Mr. Stevens gave us a whole new perspective on the turbulent history of Europe in the 20th century.

The Erdkinder students

Phrase of the Day: April 29, 2014

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Day in the Life: San Mateo Erdkinder, A Spring Day at the Farm

A Spring Day at the Farm

We worked at Green Oaks Creek Farm last Friday. One of the farmers gave us a refresher on harvesting strawberries.

This student gets to grips with the cart, transporting strawberry flats and baskets.

At lunchtime, we took our bag lunches up into the tree house.

We had a little down-time to play on the swing before getting back to work in the afternoon.

Here, we are weeding and chopping back some of the explosion of growth since our recent rains. The ornamental garden in used for weddings, and the farm is getting ready for a few of those coming up soon!

While we were weeding, we found a beautiful, furry caterpillar.

We had a great day!

Phrase of the Day: April 16, 2014

Monday, April 14, 2014

A Day in the Life: San Mateo Erdkinder

Our class walked to Coyote Point to enjoy the warm spring weather, launching our upcoming unit on Marine science. We were so excited to get out of the classroom and into the "real world" of science! 

We practiced observing, recording, and identifying species in the environment, like Leonardo DaVinci, who spent much of his adolescence recording specimens in the woods. 

We were fortunate to have the opportunity to observe and document many shoreline birds feeding in the tidal zone. 

It was a beautiful day, and we loved taking the time to serenely connect with nature. 

Phrase of the Day: April 14, 2014